Album Review: Pearl Handled Revolver – Fantasy Reigns (Self Released)

Brit dark rockers Pearl Handled Revolver return to the fold with an engrossing and compelling new album, Fantasy Reigns, out Friday 5th July 2019.

The band have travelled a long way to get to 2019. Over the last decade, they’ve had their fair share of escapades. Their four EPs, two live albums and three studio albums chart a journey from the limits of primal blues to blackened psychedelic soul music, via unlikely liaisons between cult film scores and bare bones Stoner Rock. Their aim is to get their fans feet moving, while their heads slowly succumb to an awareness of the madness induced by the modern world.

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The stoner rock vibes are strong on this one but share space with a constantly thrumming psychedelic tone too. Light and airy, Picture a dive bar deep in the desert that has a handful of drunken regulars propping up the tables. The door opens and a group of city kids come in disturbing the peace and hitting up the juke box. What comes on? In Your Blood. The more confident of the group showing off by dancing along to the rhythm.

Now it’s time for a little more gruffness with Machine Gun, the trippy guitar tones weighing things down a little more.

Before the lengthy (10+ minutes) Belly of the Whale looks to shake things up significantly with the most expansive sounding track of the album. It’s the soundtrack to a hot walk through an arid land as the sun slowly begins to set, the stars start to wink and night hunters begin to howl.

The psychedelic melodies seep into the mind, lighting up the sky in a wonderful array of vivid colours. It’s a trip.

Have Pearl Handled Revolver peaked? You might expect so but it’s not the case as Something Going On is so mellow it’s downright comfortable to listen to. Siren’s mix of super-trippy groove and bluesy vocals doesn’t quite stand out but is still enjoyable while Petrol Skin’s echoing key tones and spoken word is impossibly light on the mind.

The dark corners where shadowy figures talk and share is brightened briefly for the excellent penultimate track, The Switch. One that beckons its listeners to the dance floor for a body shaking rhythm. Before Raise Your Hand puts the cherry on top of a very unique and enlightening sounding stoner/psychedelic rock album.

If you’re after something a bit different, you can’t go to wrong with Pearl Handled Revolver’s Fantasy Reigns.

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Pearl Handled Revolver – Fantasy Reigns Full Track Listing:

1. In Your Blood
2. Machine Gun
3. Belly of the Whale
4. Something Going On
5. Siren
6. Petrol Skin
7. The Switch
8. Raise Your Hand


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Pearl Handled Revolver - Fantasy Reigns (Self Released)
  • The Final Score - 8.5/10
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